Blog > Gotta fight the DADVSI bill

 Gotta fight the DADVSI bill


The French government is about to enact the worst copyright law in Europe, using an emergency procedure to cut discussions short, and doing it by night, just before Christmas, when people are looking away.

Then, creating your own compilations from a CD, extracting your favourite piece of music to listen to it on your computer, transfering it on a MP3 player, lending a CD to a friend, reading a DVD with free software or duplicating it to be able to enjoy it at home and in your country house, all these common practices and many others, perfectly legal at the moment, will in fact be forbidden. And this shouldn't concern only the French, but also many software developers and open source projects!

The copyright and neighbouring rights in the information society bill (DADVSI) (n°1206) which the French government tries to force through will actually legitimate the technical devices (DRMs) installed by CD and DVD editors and producers to control their use. And above all, the bill plans criminal penalty against people who would dare to remove those:

An amendment to the proposed DADVSI bill has the aim of making criminal counterfeiting out of publication, distribution and promotion of all software susceptible to being used to open up data protected by author's right and not integrating a method of controlling and tracking private usage (technical measure). All software permitting downloads is concerned, such as certain instant messaging software (chat) and all server software (P2P, HTTP, FTP, SSH). This surrealist amendment has been redirected from its start by Vivendi Universal, then reworked by many members of the Sirinelli commission, a commission of the High Council of Literary and Artistic Property CSPLA.

Put differently, in addition to killing off the right to private copying while keeping the fees associated to it, according to the DADVSI bill, the simple act of using software to read a DVD that is not authorized by the DVD editor could lead up to a 3-year jail sentence and a 300 000 Euros fine. The act of converting to MP3 format a "protected" file that was bought from an online store would also be considered as infringement, and bringing to light, directly or indirectly, a tool prohibited by the bill or a tool or a method allowing to remove or alter information attached to a digital copy of a document would be assimilated to criminal counterfeiting.

A website both in French and English (with RSS feed) and an online petition have been put together at

Number of signatures since Dec. 2, 2005:

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